Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is one in which either or both people involved don't consent or cannot give consent, to the marriage, as they are pressurised, or abuse is used, to force them to do so.

It is recognised as a form of domestic or child abuse.  Victims can be forced into marriage in different ways, this may include physical or sexual violence, emotional and psychological pressure. 

There is a clear difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.

The main support organisations in Scotland for female victims of forced marriage, who make up 85% of all cases, are Shakti Women's Aid in Edinburgh and Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid in Glasgow.